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38 Portuguese CEOs call for action on human rights


38 national business leaders have joined together to support the fostering of human rights by subscribing to the CEO Guide to Human Rights, launched in June by BCSD Portugal.
The Guide is a manual to promote the greater involvement of company management in improving the conditions of life of workers and communities.

Top Portuguese executives and CEOs have subscribed to the Portuguese version of the CEO Guide to Human Rights, re-launched today by BCSD Portugal. 38 business people and executives have committed to challenge their peers to go further in fostering human rights in their organisations and value chains, going beyond risk management compliance with legislative and regulatory frameworks to create positive change in people’s lives.

The CEO Guide to Human Rights identifies important aspects in the area of human rights that challenge businesses to act: regulation is increasingly demanding and more closely aligned with the expectations of investors and society in general.

The 29 new businesses that have now come together for this project are: Águas de Portugal, Aon Portugal, APCER, BSD Consulting Portugal, Carglass, CGD, CTT, Deloitte Portugal, Edia, Everis Portugal, Fujitsu Portugal, Galp, Jerónimo Martins, José de Mello Saúde, Lipor, Metropolitano de Lisboa, Millennium bcp, Grupo Mota-Engil, NOS, REN, Resíduos do Nordeste, S317 Consulting, Secil, Soja de Portugal, Solvay Portugal, Super Bock Group, Sustain Azores, The Loyal Advisory Company and Vieira de Almeida & Associados.

Altri, BA Glass, Efacec, Eurest and Tintex are also associated with BCSD Portugal and have been signatories of the CEO Guide to Human Rights since it was initially launched in June.

Brisa, EDP, Sonae and The Navigator Company, members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and also BCSD Portugal, subscribed to the original version of the CEO Guide to Human Rights launched by WBCSD.

According to João Castello Branco, CEO of The Navigator Company and President of BCSD Portugal, “Respect for human dignity is a principle which must preside over all relations, including those in the corporate sphere. In a world in which we experience permanent risks, both at the environmental level, with the climate emergency, and the social level, with migration, to give just two examples, it is crucial that companies integrate respect for human rights in the responsible management of their business and empower the positive impacts they can have on society. Developing relationships based on respect and equity with all their partners, from employees to surrounding communities, and preventing risk situations for human rights in their value chain is of major importance in this context.”

He also adds that, “member companies of BCSD Portugal seek to follow the best practices in this field and to foster their sharing. We therefore publicly accept our commitment to respect human rights.”

Concerning the Guide, the Secretary General of BCSD Portugal, João Wengorovius Menezes, notes that, “Investment in social action and mitigation of the negative impacts are decisive factors for the improvement of business conditions and the move towards cementing the different aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030.” He affirms that, “we are convinced that the sharing of business experiences aids corporate leaders in recognising the opportunities and needs to act at the level of human rights.

On the CEO Guide to Human Rights

The CEO Guide to Human Rights was launched in June 2019 by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Portuguese-language version is the work of the Conselho Empresarial para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável (Business Council for Sustainable Development) (BCSD Portugal) and the Conselho Empresarial Brasileiro pelo Desenvolvimento Sustentável (Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development) (CEBDS).

The CEO Guide to Human Rights was subscribed by 43 companies from 17 countries with 2.8 million direct employees and a huge global value chain covering 17 corporate sectors.

The CEO Guide to Human Rights is the result of collaboration between the WBCSD, the CEOs of the member companies and Shift. In addition to the original in English and the Portuguese-language version, the Guide will be available in a further two languages – French and Spanish. The CEO Guide to Human Rights can be downloaded here.